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The announcement of Google Offers will make a splash. No big
deal. But what are the implications? Here are some factors to consider:  

    • Conversion Tracking – For many local businesses
      the hardest part about search marketing is tracking to conversion. If they
      could see the effectiveness, they’d probably spend more.  Google offers could provide some relief. The product
      or service is essentially pre-paid, and trackable.
    • Monetizing Google Places – Google’s style has
      always been to build something, make it really good, attract users, win their
      confidence- then think about making money off it.  Their first crack, “Google
      Tags,” was abandoned
      , and Boost isn’t a game changer, but with a more
      proven business model for SMB’s and the inherent tracking advantages to
      pre-paid coupons- Google Offers may be the prompt to make money from Google
      Places. 

 

    • Mobile Location Based Service – Have you heard
      of Google Latitude? No? I’m not surprised. Latitude is Google’s location
      monitoring ‘product,’ it has quietly ramped up its features.  When I first started using Google Latitude,
      it told me how many miles I traveled, where I was, and how many more miles I
      needed to get to the Moon.  Now Google
      Latitude is integrated with Google Places, and is a quick easy way to see
      what’s around you, check out reviews, check-in, leave reviews, and take advantage
      of check-in
      offers
      .  To further support this
      theory, just look at Groupon’s
      latest acquisition of Pelago, the makers of Whrrl
      .

 

Google has a big opportunity to synergize the local space by
merging their local products.  An early
indication of this was in March, when Marissa Mayer said,
“I think that, ultimately, we do have too many products and we need to condense
them.” With the demise
of Hotpot
, or the ‘graduation into Google Places’, there is clear
consolidation.   

So what does Google Offers really mean?  With an expanding emphasis on their “Offers”
product, there are certainly signals for another consolidation, and a stronger
Google Places…

Phil Britton – Product Manager Location Based Services

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